Special Needs Transportation

Bill would mandate special-needs training for drivers, aides

Kelly Aguinaldo
Posted on January 31, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. — A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature that would require a training program to be developed for school bus drivers and aides on interacting with students with special needs.

S274 would require the commissioner of education to develop such a program. The program would need to include, at minimum, instruction on appropriate behavior management, effective communication, use and operation of adaptive equipment, and understanding behaviors that may be related to specific disabilities.

The training would be made available to boards of education and school bus contractors serving school districts no later than one year after the act takes effect. (If approved, the act would take effect immediately.)

A board of education or contractor would be required to administer the training to all of its existing school bus drivers and aides no later than 180 days after it is made available by the commissioner.

In the case of individuals who are hired after the development and availability of the training program, employers must provide the training before those drivers and aides operate and serve on a school bus.     

In mid-January, the bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee.

Related Topics: aide/monitor, behavior management, driver training, New Jersey

Comments ( 1 )
  • Rick

     | about 5 years ago

    It appears they are trying to place more responsibilities on the drivers of the most precious cargo. As it is we are responsible for the condition of the school bus, cleanliness of the school bus, general behavior of all students on the school bus and now they desire to legislate training to teach us how to deal with students on our buses. In my district the special needs students ride the regular school buses therefore all of the bus drivers would have to be trained. I could accept the responsibility for an aide to be trained realizing that is their job on the bus to assist with the special needs students. Should this be something legislated from the state capital or prepared by the individual needs of the students?

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